COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Head coach Mark Turgeon and the Maryland men’s basketball team signed 9-year-old Ben Snyder to the program via Team IMPACT, an organization that pairs children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college programs.
The entire team welcomed Ben to the program via Zoom on Christmas Day Friday evening following the Purdue game.READ MORE: Baltimore County Police Investigating Fatal Shooting Of Kevin Glendenning At Rosedale Royal Farms
At the end of the Zoom, Turgeon surprised Ben with a personalized Maryland basketball jersey.
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Ben caught a bacterial infection that traveled to his heart and destroyed his aortic valve last December.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: Fueled By The Delta Variant, COVID Cases Rise Again Monday As Positivity Rate Climbs Over 2%
He went through many ups and downs as his body fought to recover from infections and multiple open-heart surgeries.
Ultimately, Ben needed to have a heart transplant. He progressed quickly after the transplant, regaining his strength and mobility.MORE NEWS: Gov. Larry Hogan Issues Maryland Paralympian Becca Meyers A Governor's Citation, Signs Order To Make July Visibility Culture and Achievements Month
On January 9, he will officially be one year post-transplant.